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Get Help Now.

A Step By Step Guide

What is abuse?


If you are experiencing any of the following, you may need help right away: 

  • Physical or sexual assault such as:

    • Threats

    • Pushing

    • Shoving

    • Hitting

    • Being forced into a sexual act

    • Not being asked for your consent before sexual activity

  • If your partner is:

    • Possessive

    • Jealous

    • Trying to control you mentally, emotionally, or financially


Then you might need help right away. These are all forms of abuse.


Find Options for Immediate Support






Develop a Safety Plan


Safety if you stay:

  • Call 911 if you or your children are in danger

  • Tell someone you trust to call the police if they think you are in danger

  • Call a program against abuse, a counselling agency, or a crisis line

  • Keep the telephone number of a shelter handy and make a plan in case you have to leave


Safety if you leave:

  • Consider where you can go that is safe

    • To a friend or relative’s house

    • To a shelter, safe home, motel, or hotel

    • To another town or city

  • If you need help finding a safe place, call a counsellor


Planning to leave:

  • Go over your safety plan with a friend or counsellor to plan the safest way to leave

  • Obtain legal advice about getting a peace bond or restraining order to keep your abuser away from you

  • Call Social Services for information on financial assistance

  • Put some money away in a safe place

  • Get legal advice regarding the custody of your children

  • Take your children with you or leave them with someone safe

  • Leave an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust


Plan for safety:

  • Remember that leaving can be dangerous

  • Ensure safety with a court order

  • Keep your court order with you at all times; leave extra copies at work, with a friend, in your car, etc.

  • Call the police every time your abuser breaks the court order


For financial assistance:

  • To apply for financial assistance, call the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation at 1-866 866-0800

  • If you are already on assistance, you can call your worker directly for practical help


Safety once you are on your own:

  • Get legal advice about custody, immigration, and housing issues

  • Tell your neighbours and landlord that your abuser no longer lives with you

  • Tell them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home

  • Ask your landlord if you can change the locks on your doors and windows

  • Practice a safety plan with your children

  • Tell the school or daycare who has permission to pick up your children (give them a copy of your Family Court papers if you have them)

  • Get an unlisted telephone number (there may be no charge if you tell them you are at risk)

  • If you are thinking of returning to your abuser, talk to someone about your safety

  • Think about joining a women’s support group or doing one-on-one counselling

  • Tell family, friends, and neighbours that you have a court order

Content borrowed from the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women & The BC Women's Hospital

You are not alone, and you can get help now. Below are some options for you.

A comprehensive safety planning sheet by

Safety planning brochure with tips for increasing safety and how to develop a plan to leave

Internet safety & how to clear your recent browsing history (non-local organization)

Internet safety & how to clear your recent browsing history (local organization)

Online safety & privacy tips, how to clear your browsing history, turn off GPS tracking, app privacy, and more (North Shore Women's Centre, local organization)

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